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W.Va. business plaza evacuated after threat

October 16, 2007|By HEATHER KEELS

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - The Aikens Center business plaza was evacuated Monday while the Berkeley County Sheriff's Department investigated a bomb threat sent to an insurance agency by mail, Sgt. B.F. Hall said.

The Westfield Insurance agency at 269 Aikens Center received a letter Monday warning a bomb had been planted at the office, but a search of the building determined the threat to be a hoax, Hall said.

The building, which contains about 10 businesses, including Valley College of Technology and Sylvan Learning Center, was evacuated from about 10:20 a.m. until about 2:30 p.m., Hall said.

The Sheriff's Department called in a K-9 handler from the Loudoun County, Va., Sheriff's Department because that was the closest jurisdiction with a dog trained to locate bombs, Hall said. It took about an hour for the unit to arrive, he said. Investigators were unable to find an actual explosive device, he said.

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Investigators have no suspects, but plan to examine the letter for evidence, Hall said.

Anyone with information may contact Sgt. Hall at the Berkeley County Sheriff's Department Criminal Investigations Division at 304-267-7000 or Berkeley County Crime Solvers at 304-267-4999.

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